Dystopias Aplenty: Five dystopian works to watch, read or play

Joshua D. Guilas | Staff Writer

Dystopian works are usually written or designed as cultural or societal warnings, admonishing current society to avoid becoming the dystopian universe of the novel, movie or video game. Sometimes, the works appear to create a fantasy world of the future while actually critiquing the current state of things. For those fascinated with end-of-the-world scenarios or darker works that reveal the end of society as we know it, check out these dystopian works.

“Psycho-Pass”

Set in 22nd century Tokyo, “Psycho-Pass” is an anime television series centered around a system called the “Sybil System” that measures crime efficiency. If a person registers high on the system, he or she is referred to as a latent criminal, which enables them to work for the police as an Enforcer. This is the context for the series, in which rookie
police detective Akane Tsunemori and her Enforcer partner Shinya Kōgami attempt to solve cases, all of which are connected by a certain thread in 8463460468_05904f3358Kougami’s past.

“The Twilight Zone”

While many episodes of  “The Twilight Zone” are set in the 1960s, some episodes take place in a dystopian future. In “The Obsolete Man,” a chancellor puts a man to death for his occupation as a librarian and for his Christian beliefs, as the state had abolished both books and God. The man comes to terms with his death while the chancellor is trapped in the same room as him. What follows is the question of who is truly obsolete: a man who welcomes death or a man who is frightened of it?

4410192826_b8668ded89_b“Brave New World”

In Aldous Huxley’s classic novel “Brave New World,” the social order is predicated upon uniformity and complacency among the general populace. The plot follows John, a “savage” who lives outside of the state-imparted restrictions of behavior and belief. Both John and readers of the novel must wrestle with defining the essence of humanity in a society that teaches individuals to think like robots.

“1984”

“1984” was written by George Orwell in 1949 and is the author’s harrowing prediction of the future of Western society. The story is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain) and centers on a group of rebels who attempt to overthrow the dictatorial government, which enjoys a god-like cult followership. The heroes attempt to stop the government from fictitiously rewriting all history to support its own corrupt agenda.

“Mother 3”

A clash between nature and technology, the video game “Mother 3” focuses on a young boy named Lucas, who has lost his brother and mother. With his friends, he tries to defeat the “Pig Mask Army.” In the later part of the series, Lucas’s old townspeople are forced into a city called “New Pork City,” a city that praises laziness.

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